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DeVern V. Harms

DeVern V. Harms, age 59 of Waconia, died Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006 at Fairview Riverside Medical Center in Minneapolis after several long and painful illnesses.

DeVern was very courageous. After major surgery in 1985, he was given one year to live. Even though he was in severe pain and suffering, he had the strength and stubbornness to make it until God was ready to take him. Even then, he spent the last four months in the hospital trying to fight the odds, surprising his caregivers and the doctors who have known him for years.

He was born March 22, 1946 in Glencoe, the son of Elwin H. and Else M. (Schmeckpeper) Harms. DeVern was baptized April 14, 1946 at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Norwood Young America, by the Rev. W. P. Kramer; and confirmed April 10, 1960 at the same church by the Rev. G. F. Raedeke.

He attended St. John’s elementary school and completed his high school years at Norwood Young America High School.

After graduation, DeVern went into farming.

He married Diane M. Gagnon Aug. 14, 1971 at Ascension Catholic Church, Norwood, by the Rev. Robert. E. Russell. This marriage was blessed with seven children.

DeVern was converted into the Catholic faith Dec. 20, 1976 by the Rev. John B. Garvey, and confirmed by Bishop John Kinney April 3, 1978, taking on the name of St. Charles of Borromeo.

DeVern farmed until 1976. He worked at Glencoe Manufacturing for a few months, and then joined Continental Machines Inc. in Savage, where he was employed until January 1983.

For a few months in the summer, DeVern worked at Advance Machines Inc. in Spring Park, and in September, started driving a truck route for Oak Grove Dairy of Norwood Young America, driving for Oak Grove Dairy until he had to leave because of illness.

During his able years, DeVern was involved in amateur softball and bowling. For several years, he was involved in Cub Scouts, many of which he spent as cubmaster. He was given an annual scouting plate in 1985, a plaque on grateful recognition of services rendered to scouting; and his most treasured award, cubmaster of the year, in 1984, along with his troop presenting their own plaque from Troop and Pack 361.

Over the years, he was also involved in many interfaith activities, always with the hope that all would grow in faith. He was also a member of Ascension Catholic Church parish council.

DeVern was preceded in death by his parents, Elwin and Else Harms; brother Darwin Harms; infant brother Daryl; infant sister Ruth; and brothers-in-law Michael Gagnon and Russell Gagnon.

He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Diane Marie; sons Joel Lee Harms of Waconia, Cpt. Nathan Alan Harms of the Salvation Army in Indiania; Mathew Paul Harms of Oregon, Benjamin Jerome Harms of Golden Valley, and Peter Gregory Harms of Blaine; daughters Theresa Mary Harms of South St. Paul, and Catherine Ruth Harms of Waconia; father-in-law and mother-in-law Jack and Marlys Gagnon of Texas; and grandchildren Dominick Harms, Javante Harms, Brittany Harms, Kahlaiya Harms, Ethan Harms, Cassidy Harms, Isaac Harms, Anaesia Sowell, Riley Harms, Joseph Harms, and Alana Sowell.

He is further survived by sisters and brothers-in-law Darlain and Norbert Kaufmann of Belle Plaine, and DoAnn and Dennis Hromadko of Medford; brother and sister-in-law DuWayne and Kathy Harms of Norwood Young America; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Jacqueline Gagnon, Jerome Gagnon, Denise Ryden, Richard Gagnon, Daniel Gagnon, and Michelle Krona; uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial was Saturday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. at Ascension Catholic Church in Norwood Young America with the Rev. Paul Ardolf officiating. Final resting place was in the church cemetery.

Casket bearers were Thomas Krona, Mark Harms, Kevin Gruenhagen, Dennis Hromadko, Norbert Kaufmann, and Talmadge Sowell.

Visitation took place Friday, Feb. 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia; and continued for one hour prior to the Mass Saturday at the church.

Arrangements were with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia.

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